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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.




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Romney 21, Us 10, Ohio 7, Iraq 7, America 7, Libya 6, Krystal 6, Obama 6, Colin Powell 5, Florida 5, Msnbc 5, Rendell 4, Mr. Romney 4, Dennis 4, Allstate 4, Benghazi 4, Erin 3, Virginia 3, Kerry 3, Mitt Romney 3,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    October 22, 2012
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

both war and in fighting for peace. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. i'll be back in one hour with another edition of "hardball." "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris, and thanks to you for tuning in. we're just three hours away from the final debate and 15 days until election day. here's where this race stands. a new nbc poll shows president obama and mitt romney tied at 47% among likely voters. this is a dead heat. but the president is leading in the likely electoral count. the new yoknew yor york times b shows that the president has 288 compared to 2508 for mitt romney.
270 are needed to win the election. the times blog gives president obama a 67% chance of winning the election versus a 32% chance for mitt romney. so far, 4.4 million americans have already cast their votes, absentee ballots, or early votings have been used. later in this show, we'll have much more on what those early voting numbers mean and on the republican efforts to keep democratic votes down. but we start with tonight's lead. mitt romney's playing politics with foreign policy. tonight's debate topic is foreign policy, an area where the president has proven himself time and time again. it's a different story for governor romney. he stumbled on international affairs throughout this campaign. and he has shown an unsteady hand on the tragedy in libya.
unsteady and highly political. just hours after ambassador chris stevens and three other americans were killed at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, mr. romney rushed out a statement in which he accused the president of, quote, sympathizing with those who waged the attack. of course that was blatantly political. republicans cooked up a dishonest talking point, claiming officials created a coverup on the attack by initially leaking the libya attack to protests over an anti muslim video. >> i don't think that they should have sent their u.n. ambassador out five days later to say that this was from a spontaneous mob reacting to a youtube video. >> i think you need to ask yourself, why didn't we know five days later when the ambassador to the united nations.
>> then why send susan rice out saying that this was a spoon tan yous reaction, not reacting to a youtube video? >> now we know the truth is, obama administration officials were repeating what the cia experts were telling them. "the washington post" writes, quote, the cia documents supported susan rice's description of the benghazi attacks but the romney campaign doesn't care. they are playing politics with national security. it's a disgrace. the question is, will the president expose mitt romney if he tries that attack tonight? joining me now is a distinguished public servant who has a lifetime of experience on this issue, senator john kerry. he's also been playing governor romney in the practice debate with the president. senator kerry, thank you for
being with us tonight. >> reverend al, i'm happy to be with you and your good friend sends you her best. >> give my love to teresa. let me get right to the point, senator kerry. mitt romney has talked about the attacks in libya. >> mr. romney and the entire republican party is trying very hard to politicize something that's a tragedy, where the administration has been absolutely candid and direct and upfront as you just said, the cia talking points said what they said. now, what's important here is really to get larger than this. mitt romney went out within moments of hearing what was happening in cairo and without even thinking about it
criticized our government at a time where he didn't even have the facts. you know, another example of mitt romney shooting before he had even aimed properly, before he even had the right information. and so, number one, it's disgraceful that the nominee of the republican party has zero experience in foreign policy. in fact, this is the single most inexperienced twosome to run for president and vice president in the modern history of our country. >> wow. >> but on each step of mitt romney's journey until foreign policy, what he's done is proved that he has no depth. he was -- he says it was tragic that we pulled troops out of iraq. he at first was against setting a date in afghanistan, then he was for setting a date, then he starts to qualify the date. with respect to the s.t.a.r.t.
treaty and united states senate. there are a lot of republicans running around down here criticizinging president obama but the man that they are defending was one of the few people that in america thought that we shouldn't have a s.t.a.r.t. treaty with russia to reduce nuclear weapons and these are people who even voted for the treaty who are criticizing obama. mitt romney is out of mainstream and he's chosen to be there because he's following a group of people who got us into trouble in iraq and got us into trouble by breaking our appliances, by approving of torture and a whole bunch of other things that left the world, frankly, questioning the united states of america. barack obama has turned that around. and we should not go backwards. >> senator kerry, you said that he and his running mate had no experience. in fact, you said it's nothing but a record of dangerous blunders and that -- i've outlined a few specific
policies, fewer than any other presidential team in presidential history. is the president -- you are one to help the prepper. is the president going to go after him tonight if he tries to bring in benghazi? >> well, reverend al, i'm not going to sit here and talk about the president's strategy or intentions tonight. i had the privilege of serving as a sparring partner. i did play mitt romney. i was chosen from binders of senators and i was privileged to be able to undertake that role but i'm not going to sit here before the debate and tell mitt romney and everybody else what he may or may not do. i will tell you this, the president is a enormously anxious to get to this debate. he is is ready for this debate because he's proud of his record in defending america, proud of keeping his promise to get out of iraq, to end that war, proud of changing the war in afghanistan so that we now know
our troops will be coming home and doing it in a way that will be successful. i'm proud of the fact that he led on libya in a way that didn't put american troops on the ground but we succeeded in achieving our goals. he's restored our alliances throughout the world. he's actually helped to raise the currency rate in china more than has been raised in 19 previous years. >> yeah. >> so the president is on the right track. we don't want to go backwards to the neocon right-wing extreme policies that got us into trouble in iraq in the first place and you remember that debate very, very well, reverend al. >> yes. >> and you've seen the damage that it's done throughout the region. we don't want to go backwards. we need to go forwards with the experience and strength and the judgment that president obama has exhibited. >> i saw in the second debate the president was visibly offended and said so when the
suggestion was made that ambassador rice or anyone, as he said on his team, did anything but was what was responsible in terms of protecting american lives. now that "the washington post" has just revealed the cia talking points and it is clear that secretary rice was saying what the cia had given her, be do you think that will change the position of mr. romney and his team and his vice presidential candidate or do you think they are going to continue this when we're dealing with the loss of four american lives and we were given that information by the cia and we were dealing in the middle of this tragedy? >> i'm laughing, be reverend al, because you're asking me if mitt romney might change his position? i mean, this is a man who's changed his position on almost everything. i don't know what mitt romney's going to come and do tonight. i don't know which mitt romney
is going to show up. is he going to be moderate tonight and try to say to america, hey, i'm a different kind of guy? but he can't run away from the position he's taken. he can't run away from opposing the s. trk a.r.t. treaty. he can't run away from being wrong on iraq. he can't run away from having iran judgments about any number of issues. he can't run away from his lack of specificity for seven years he's been running for president and he still doesn't have a plan for three-quarters of the things that he says he wants to do in foreign policy. you just can't run away from that in one single debate tonight. i think the press, you, many other people are going to will hold him accountable. reverend al, you remember in 2004, when i debated george bush, president bush, everybody said he's the president, you're going to have to come in there and to win you're going to have to prove that you're specific and you have a better set of plans. well, to the best of what i've heard and read since then,
people believe i won that debate that night because i was specific. because i did succeed factually in holding him accountable. the test for mitt romney is the test of being a commander in chief. he doesn't gain just by showing up. he doesn't gain just by being on the same stage of the president of the united states. he can only gain if his plans and his facts show a direction that will make america safer, not start a bunch of new wars, not spend money we don't need to spend, not put american troops at risk when we don't have to. >> right. >> i believe the president's wisdom, the president's judgment, and the president's successes will speak for themselves tonight. >> let me ask you this quickly, senator, be and by the way, you did win that debate. i was there. there was no question you won that debate. but let me ask you this. for people who don't follow foreign policy, you've given your life to this.
what is the most important thing that voters should look for tonight? what worries you most that we need to hear very definitive answers from the president and mr. romney? >> real accomplishments and real plans based on facts. not some vague criticism, not some bluster that is uncompanied by the kind of precision that the american people deserve when you're talking about the possibility of their sons and daughters being sent into harm's way somewhere in the world. these are very dangerous times, reverend al. you know that. the world is exploding with transition and it's not a question of our policies making or not making them happen. you know, no one told a fruit vendor in tunisia to set himself on fire because the police officer slapped him and he had finally had enough of that government. and that triggered a revolution. nobody told those students in
tahrir square to go out and do that. it wasn't islamists. it wasn't extremists. it was young people. it was a generational people who want to live a better life and have freedom and have are a job. that's something that's sweeping through the world and we need to learn that you can't just run in and dictate the terms and blame it on extremist. it's much more complicated and i think tonight people of our country will see a president who genuinely understands it. not somebody who is a candidate who is dealing with rosetta stone foreign policy where they learned the top line but they really can't carry on a full conversation based on experience and based on values and visceral feel for what is at stake. >> senator john kerry, thank you for your time. and we started by saying give you my love to your wife ter
reece sachlt binders of senators, not binders of women. i just want to give clarity for you. i know how she stands on these things. >> thank you, sir. >> i appreciate it. >> yes, she was one of millions of americans who really had a big question mark after that comment. but moving on -- >> i'm sure. thank you. we'll be talking soon. >> thank you. coming up, we'll have news on a big victory in the fight against voter suppression. but we'll tell you about some new dirty tricks from the old republican playbook. plus, why the electoral map and the math favor president obama in the home stretch. folks, it looks like we may be able to isolate the spread of romnesia. >> now, the president -- the president has a new term but as you said -- >> romnesia. >> romnesia. and by the way, guess what, it's contagious. and it made a big difference
in '08. will general colin powell endorse president obama once again in these last two weeks before the election? you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. humans -- even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why, at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
15 days until election day. it's close. but there are important signs that president obama has an edge. hint. it starts in ohio. that story next. anncr: every president inherits challenges.
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let's than three hours until the final debate and the stakes couldn't be higher. with 15 days to go, it's a dead heat. as of today, early voting is already under way in 23 states. seven states in the district of columbia began voting today. a total of 4.4 million votes have been cast. and while the poll show a tight race, the early vote is giving the president the edge. and iowa, ohio, and key counties in nevada, the president is ahead among early and absentee voters. vice president joe biden was out in ohio today reminding voters of the epidemic sweeping the plan. >> they are like etch-a-sketchy. it's under way, guys.
we are seeing the remaking of mitt romney right before our eyes. >> now, the president has a new term for it, as you all said. what is it? >> romnesia. i tell you man, guess what, it's contagious. >> it is contagious but it could depend on a number of things. the early vote, the latino vote, the women vote and what will tip the race? joining me is krystal ball and erin mcpike, reporter for real clear politics. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you, reverend. >> krystal, let's start with the early voting numbers. these are promising right now, at least from the start? >> yeah, very encouraging and you highlighted nevada in particular. they just started early voting. democrats turned out more democratic voters on the first
day than they did back in 2008 so signs are looking really good there. it's a slas particular test of the air power versus, you know, the boots on the ground, the classic grassroots and it's excelling in today even though the obama campaign itself has actually outfund raised the romney campaign.raised the romney campaign. despite that monetary difference. >> erin mcpike is in ohio. erin, a new quinnipiac poll, of the voters, president obama got 50% of the vote and romney 39.
>> the democrats are very energized by early voting. of course, they won a bunch of court ruling. i because they have won the early vote to continue and to continue the weekend before election day, that obama is on track to win here. so democrats do feel good. now, the republicans i talked to romney's campaign in the state yesterday and they are cautiously optimistic. they think the trajectory is headed their way. however, mitt romney hasn't led for a single day and any time this year, he's got a lot of work to do and we're hearing from the romney campaign that he's going to be spending a disproportionate amount of his time in ohio from now until election day.
>> krystal, give me your view and erin saying that there is some kind of movement towards romney, where's the evidence of that? >> well, we haven't seen a lot of evidence. some of the polls have tightened but romney has never led in the average of polls. he's tied in a few. i actually used to live in ohio and there are areas in ohio where they understand the devastation of outsourcing of the type that bain capital engaged in and his argument of let detroit go bankrupt, that was the most critical economical decision for the state. so i think that's very hard for him to overcome and we're seeing the obama campaign underscoring with ads in the state now. that decision and how dead wrong romney was. and if i can pick up on one other thing that erin was talking about, the early voting, judgments going against the republicans, i think they may have really created a monster here because when you tell someone you can't vote, what
does that make them want to do? that makes them want to get out and cast their ballots and that's part of why we're seeing such strong early voting numbers. >> i've been out to ohio several times, too, and that's exactly the feeling i'm getting, is a lot of people were energized because they were outraged in terms of their feeling that -- and many of us felt that their rights were being taken. but aside from even the auto industry, erin, who clearly had a lot of impact among ohioans is the gender gap. president obama holds a lead among women whereas, of course, governor romney has a seven-point lead among men in ohio. so the gender gap there is also very strong for the president.
is it holding? >> it is. mitt romney made up a lot of ground with women and we're not seeing that in ohio and that is, in part, because the ohio obama campaign has targeted women here and i have heard so many radio ads that are specifically about planned parenthood and i've talked to several women voters who have mentioned those ads and the importance of planned parenthood and they are keeping their votes for the president because of that. >> so the national movement that we saw is not reflected among women voters in ohio. very interesting. krystal, help me understand something. marco rubio was on over the weekend and he said that the lilly ledbetter act wasn't about helping women and i know you may be able to interpret this for me because i can't figure this out. let me play it to you and explain this to me. >> all right. >> just because they call it a
piece of legislation, it doesn't make it so. much of this legislation is, in many respects, an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits which may not contribute whatsoever. >> two questions. one, how do you have a bill for equal pay for women but it's not for equal pay for women and how do you attract women voters saying things like that? >> well, he's just completely wrong and in terms of the political implications. the american people understand very clearly what the lilly ledbetter act is all about and the fact that the romney campaign has been unable repeatedly unable to articulate what governor romney's position is on the act, where he stands on it today and what he would do if he were president i think is a huge vulnerability and the microtargeting that they are doing in ohio around planned parenthood, i think the lilly ledbetter act is an opportunity
to talk to women and say it's a simple issue, simple to understand. where does governor romney stand and it underscores both the fact that he's wishy washy and the fact that he's out of step with where the american people are on issues of gender and equity. >> let me give you this, erin. this came out today and it really was stunning with all of this talk about the race tightening a new poll shows the president leets among likely voters. it would give a gap for the president and going to bed early
with the president elect. >> you know, that may be. the romney campaign said earlier this year that they wanted to do 38% of the latino vote and if it's down at 25%, yes, it's a problem. on the other hand, mitt romney is leading by a very wide margin among white men and it helps him offset that advantage that president obama has. but i would point out to you this. states like virginia and colorado, they are dead even and if the obama campaign can turn out higher margins of lat teen. >> so if that number comes out in virginia and colorado, it has a big impact on the electoral map? >> that's right. >> krystal ball and erin mcpike, thank you for your time. >> thanks, rev.
>> you can catch krystal right here on msnbc. still ahead, a big win and billboards designed to intimidate voters fighting backwards and fighting back works. and there's a new challenge now. you're watching "politicsnation" on msnbc. [ female announcer ] think coarse facial hair removal has to be painful?
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we have good news to report about those voter intimidation billboards funded by secret donors. the billboards popped up in black and hispanic neighborhoods in ohio and wisconsin telling residents that voter fraud was a crime but now clear channel, the company who owns the billboards, say they are taking them down. all 145 of them, in cleveland, columbus, and milwaukee. and now some are being replaced with billboards that actually say voting is a right, not a crime. it's a big victory but we can't stand down because voter suppression is still happening all across america from purposefully confusing robo calls in florida and virginia to a misleading newspaper article
in pennsylvania. the fight to protect the vote may be the most important fight of the next 15 days. joining me now is pastor of new birth baptist church in miami and counsel for the center of justice, thank you both for joining me. >> thank you, reverend. >> thank you, reverend. >> let me start with you, bishop kerr. you lead the miami-dade network and i'll be with you on the kickoff rally on the 27th. you're dealing with florida having done some things to early voting and you started something called operation eliminate for. tell me what that is about. >> along with the republican led house and senate decided to shorten the early voting days. we view that as them giving us a lemon so we decided we would make lemonade. and we've decided that we're
going to have our souls to the polls weekend. early voting starts for us on october 27th and at 7:00 a.m. we'll be downtown at the steven p. clark building where hundreds and thousands of people will come and cast their votes and 30 minutes south to south and we'll vote there and then we're going to drive maybe 45 minutes to an hour north to ft. lauderdale mall as they cast their votes and then we cast their vote from there to a rally and have actually cast their early votes. >> as we do this, i want to be clear, it's nonpartisan. we all have our views but you have over 150 ministers involved and all parties. this is nonpartisan. we're just telling people to come out and vote and use their vote as we do this on saturday and sunday. >> absolutely.
because when the governor and the republican-led house and senate decided to shorten the early voting, it cut everyone, whether you're a democrat, be republican, or independent. we're fighting for everyone's rights to be able to vote and what they did, they took from us that final sunday before the general election because they understood that that's when we really mobilized our people and took our souls to the polls and we're happy that we have galvanized and mobilized. >> i'm excited about it. let me go to you a minute, lee. i remember when we first got on this issue and there has been progress. tell us about it. >> absolutely. there's been a sea change.
we the voters, voter protection advocates have worked hard to flip that script and there are successes at every level. the people have revealed bad laws in maine. we've seen every court case result in either tinkering with the law or flat out stopping the suppression laws in their tracks. obviously folks like bishop curry are making the best that they can with the hand that they've been dealt. voters across the country are galvanized around this issue and we've seen this great victory where clear channel should be commended for taking down these ludicrous billboards. so all across the country we're seeing great pushbacks. round 2 is going to the voters. >> bishop curry, we just heard that people are voting big numbers in ohio and the statement was made because they felt that they were denied it energized them once the victory happened, to come out and vote.
do you feel that we're going to see that this weekend in florida going forward? are you hearing from people that because they've cut back on voting early voting days and stop the churches from souls to the polls which is the sunday before election day, that that's really going to have a backlash effect and get people to come out and vote even more in florida and it may have been a spirit that people may have been lulled asleep a little bit because of a political process and now when you try to take my rights and when you try to make it more difficult for me to vote, then that re-energizes me to be able to go out and do what i know i'm supposed to do. so i think it's going to backfire on them. people are excited. that's all i've heard. i haven't heard one negative thing about the souls to the polls. we're working with the a. phillip randolph and you're going to be preaching the whole
weekend. i hope you take your vitamins and eat your wheaties. >> i'll be doing that. >> we have not had victories and we continue to struggle in the courts. does any of the legal decisions set a precedent that helps us in other states? >> absolutely. for example, the victory in florida which struck down a majority of the restrictions placed on voter registration drives is absolutely a federal court victory and one that sends a signals to other courts that the right to vote is too sacred to be tinkered with. it's really the narrative that all voters are playing out across the country and have gotten mad about it. it's our fundamental right. >> our bishop, thank you. i'll see you this weekend. thank you for your time, both of you tonight. >> thank you for having me, reverend. coming up, one of the most influential businessmen in the world is ripping governor romney's bain past. and guess who is making a
surprise appearance tonight? governor romney's got a bush problem. how will he handle it? you're watching a special "politicsnation" as we get ready for the last debate on the place for politics, msnbc. [ female announcer ] think coarse facial hair removal has to be painful? challenge that with new olay facial hair removal duo. even coarse, stubborn facial hair gently. plenty of gain, without all that pain... with olay. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. wahlalalalallala! smooth, but crisp. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, woooooh! [ male announcer ] taste it and describe the indescribable. could've had a v8.
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snoop tonight's debate, obama versus romney. but there will actually be a third guest on that stage tonight. someone governor romney has eluded. george w. bush will be on that stage in spirit whether governor romney likes it or not. of romney's 24 foreign policy advisers, 17 are from the bush administration. recommending a failed war in iraq, defense spending that brought the country deeper in debt and the ones who failed to get osama bin laden. bush left off with a record low approval on foreign policies. his policies were a failure. hey governor, good luck dealing with that bush question tonight. joining me now, former pennsylvania ed rendell, now an msnbc political analyst thank
you both for being here tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> if you go back to his convention speech, he talked about engaging russia. we're going to start up the cold war again and talked about savor rattling and now he's talking about syria and talking about getting involved in syria or doing this and doing that. and the sad part about it, number one, it reminds the american people, what you said, about the bush foreign policy but, number two, the last thing the american people want now, the very last thing is another ground war in the middle east. that's the last thing we want and his policies are leading us to an inevitable conclusion that
we have to get involved, sending troops to this area, going to war with iran. it's very scary for the american people. >> the same advisers that they brought us last time, when you look at the "new york times," she called romney's foreign policy adviser dan and perpetuate one of the biggest foreign policy bungles in american history. off the record, he says, paris is burning and then a year into the war on the record security instability is are returning to iraq. >> for romney, like for most republicans, the default is the neocon option and more specifically a more dimensional support of sticks, used by
president obama, which is a combination of both carrots and sticks. so, yes, we do go in there with drone attacks. >> the daily beast, wonder today whether colin powell will get in this and why he has endorsed to kennedy yet because he said, and i'm quoting him, i recon that powell is waiting for tonight. since foreign policy is his bag and then maybe we'll hear from him on one of the sunday shows. i've seen no reporting on this but we have assume no campaigns have been sending him pizza and other goodies for months. and why do you think we haven't
heard anything yet? if he thinks governor romney is giving him a rerun of the failed policies that he got trapped into and really the one blemish on his reputation is what the administration misled him about, if he feels that it's just a rerun, i think he's going to come out from president obama and it will be impactful. there are voters, particularly women voters who are definitely afraid of getting reengaged in another ground war in the middle east and colin powell coming out and saying it's the wrong idea and wrong way to do business and it's a tremendous effect. >> victoria, let me show you what colin powell said on morning joe right here on the station in may. >> they might be in a position
to make judgments or recommendations to the candidate that should get a second shot and governor romney said it's our geo strategical threat. >> he doesn't look too supportive of those advising mr. romney. or romney getting his facts right. >> well, as governor rendell pointed out, the thing that colin powell also recognizes that the american electorate is growing weary of the human cost in the war. female voters are specific to this and so are military folks. for example, what are we going to do with veterans. you can be very hawkish and say we need a more aggressive approach and what are you going to do for the american service members. that's one thing that we have not seen romney said at all in contrast to what the president has done for veterans affairs. >> governor rendell, what does
the president need to do tonight? what does the president have to do tonight? ze h ze. >> i think he has to very positively, very enthusiastically taught his record. and let's remember, in libya we saved an entire people, benghazi from genocide without losing one american life. we didn't engage on the ground, we put our allies together and it's the single most successful venture in terms of no loss of american life and accomplishing missions. he's got to talk about all of that and he's got a great record. >> governor rendell and victoria, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> the inspiring story of a
93-year-old world war ii vet and what it says about the right to vote. that's next. [ male announcer ] do you have the legal protection you need? at legalzoom, we've created a better place to turn for your legal matters. maybe you want to incorporate a business you'd like to start. or protect your family with a will or living trust. legalzoom makes it easy with step-by-step help when completing your personalized document -- or you can even access an attorney to guide you along. with an "a" rating from the better business bureau legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available with every personalized document to answer any questions. get started at today.
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to treat allergy symptoms, plus sinus congestion, and pain. we close tonight with a powerful image. it's an image of a world war ii veteran filling out his absentee ballot while in hospice care in hawaii. frank filled out his ballot eager of the japanese internment camp when the war first broke out, despite what he and his family have been through, frank volunteered to join the u.s. army and risk his life for his country. that's how much he cared for his
country then and hundreds and thousands of people have seen this picture online. it reminds us why voteriing is important in this election where when two weeks left, president obama is lead ng among all voters, 44 to 49% when it comes to likely voters. and so here's my question. are you a likely voter if not, why not? if you are what about your neighbors, loved ones, are they likely voters, too? this election will be determined for who cares enough to get out and cast a ballot. it would be the ultimate honor for him to inspire others